Flight nurse

Health care professionals fleeing due to hard times, says Mullin

A damning picture has been painted of the state of nursing here, with many of the health care professionals said to be fleeing due to adverse working conditions.

Outgoing President of the Barbados Nurses Association (BNA) Blondelle Mullin Wednesday night revealed that late pay, poor security and working conditions, and inadequate tools have been par for the course for nurses for much too long, with no apparent end in sight.

Outgoing BNA president Blondelle Mullin delivering her final address Wedneday night.

Consequently, she told the BNA’s annual general meeting at Accra Beach Resort in Rockley, Christ Church, nurses were becoming despondent, leading to an “exodus of nurses from the workforce, from Barbados, or out of the profession altogether.

“This is due to retirement, illness, frustration, career changes and greener pastures and a host of reasons. But the fact remains that the . . . [number] of nurses to adequately service the population is dwindling and efforts to address this remains null and void,” Mullin said in her final report as head of the association.

Those left, she charged, were so overworked because of an undermanned health care system, that they often suffered from “burn out”.

Already thinly stretched, Mullin complained, the nurses were being asked to work way beyond the call of duty and were being assigned to take on additional tasks at new or extended health care facilities.

“There have been several new departments and a new polyclinic like the David Thompson Complex which used the same complement of nurses to service these areas, so obviously there is depletion at the other institutions.”

Mullin, who retired last year after some 40 years of service, exposed conditions under which the nurses work as challenging at best.

Nurses and members of supporting organizations at the BNA general meeting.

The health care givers sometimes faced “issues with burglary and security issues” at the Geriatric Hospital “with main doors not locked at night, and intruders use it to hide and steal nurses’ property.

“Most of the institutions, especially the psychiatric hospital, have a whole host of issues including the physical plant and supplies and having adequate material and equipment to deliver adequate nursing care.

“[The] sick building syndrome is still a concern especially for nurses at some of the institutions,” she said.

Added to these concerns, nurses were often called upon to work long hours, yet they were paid late and received supplies late at best, the retired nurse said.

“Nurses are concerned about appointments especially the staff nurses as this causes problems monthly, with the late payment of salaries, as well as obtaining a loan at our financial institutions.”

And with the struggling economy affecting Government’s ability to address all the grave concerns, Mullin suggested “if nurses cannot be compensated in pay, due to the economical challenges, at least their working conditions should be better”.

7 Responses to Flight nurse

  1. Samantha Best February 10, 2017 at 5:43 am

    In the medical profession there is a shortage of nurses and doctors.Yet there are numerous ‘consultants ‘ being contracted across the public service. Gov’t through the Ministry of the Civil Service refuses to create the posts required for an efficient Health Care institution, with trained doctors being unemployed after the same Gov’t paid to train them. Then as the costs are high they tax you to the hilt then tell you about paying for a service you are not getting.

    This is the case throughout the public service. They lambaste the public service that is forced to work with archaic systems because no one listens.

    Ever went to get a Police Certificate of Character? One has to be in the queue from 5:00 am if one expects to leave by 9:30am or pay a paro $20.00 to keep a place for them. It’s not the fault of the Police Officers working there mind you. They are no time wasters there. It’s the system they are working with. In the year of productivity, in one day’s wait there, six weeks man hours are wasted there, given an average of a 40 hour week for the 100 people a day allowed in. The line closes off around 9:15 am!

  2. Jennifer February 10, 2017 at 7:53 am

    The government is not addressing the concerns of the medical system or other similar issues because they are busy addressing the concerns of their enemy, such as that synagogue of people who also enslaved their people.

  3. tsquires February 10, 2017 at 10:27 am

    Good morning to all readers and contributors, your comments are right on point, and the simple facts are that across the world; all our so called systems are broken, yet we continue to expect that miracles will occur, from people who have simply lost their way, because our systems , Government/Political, Learning, Religious Medical, Legal, Moral and Monetary, most of these have been broken for a long time, mainly because selfishness has replaced the main creative laws. 1. (Love thy neighbor as thyself) 2. (Do unto others as you would have them do to you) and 3. (Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart), this last one I am sure is sadly misunderstood by our Religious Bodies and their congregations, as this is the major system that is broken yet our heads are buried in the sand, so I ask that you to remember the Ostrich??? 20% hidden and 80% exposed, a word to the wise who’ll listen.

  4. Helicopter(8P) February 10, 2017 at 11:02 am

    If your hospital’s security is inadequate then I should think that the Board of directors are failing in the number one area of operation for such a business organization!

  5. Clarion February 10, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    Wow…it’s gotten much worse since I left the QE, ’70. Drinking more ETOH certainly won’t assist!

  6. lswiltshire February 10, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    I used to call her BBB (big bubby blondelle) when she was a student . She sure grow up to be a WHOPPER! MURDAH

  7. Kemi27 February 23, 2017 at 11:29 pm

    I am a travel nurse from the USA…these issues are not just in the Caribbean but everywhere as it seems. But I wonder why not just hire a travel agency to bring in travel nurses to assist with staffing needs until the number of full time staff gets up to par? Travel nurses helps a lot with staffing shortages everywhere. Of course pay might be the issue, but what price will you have to pay eventually if there are just simply no staff period? It’s a great investment and I’d be the first to come. Often times, a lot of travelers become permanent staff members at some of the facilities. Just a thought.


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